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Behold the new world headquarters for the Danish clothing firm Bestseller in the tiny town of Brande (pop. 7,000): set to be the tallest building in Europe. What a breathtakingly stupid idea! I suppose they think it will minimize the human footprint on the terrain. Wrong. (Typical “gadget green” fallacy.) It only distorts that footprint by stacking too many people in a vertical box that will have no capacity for adaptive re-use when Bestseller’s best days are over. It will be visible from 40 miles away on Denmark’s pancake-flat landscape, making it impossible to escape its despotic presence. In essence, the project is a half-assed update of LeCorbusier’s idiotic Ville Radieuse — the original “towers-in-a-park” fiasco that ended up being the model for America’s ghastly public housing “projects.” Thanks to many who nominated this latest exercise in techno-narcissism.


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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

5 Responses to “April 2019” Subscribe

  1. tucsonspur April 5, 2019 at 5:42 am #

    A truly toxic tower trampling on tranquility. A monotonous monument to mercantilism, a bombastic beast beleaguering the bucolic, and a capacious capitulation to common sense.

    Here’s someone else who doesn’t like the idea:

    Trine Kammer, an architect who lives in Aarhus, but whose boyfriend grew up near Brande, complains that the local paper refuses to publish her objections.

    “People in Brande are so afraid to criticise Bestseller. It’s like a religion or something,” she says.
    She believes the building will destroy the feeling of “a huge, undisturbed landscape”.

    “Such a big building will make the world claustrophobically small. Why do I have to be reminded of Bestseller when I’m walking by myself in a quiet wood?”

    Another clash of countryside and commerce, another example of the maleficence of money.

  2. bymitch April 9, 2019 at 10:47 pm #

    Whether this is a good idea on the practical front is not the question.
    The motivation appears to me to be the twist between iconography and fashion.
    The author of the image did a great job capturing the nod to Lands End, a rival fashion company, but failed in toning down the architect’s cunning reference to Bell[s] End.

  3. Ishabaka April 12, 2019 at 9:00 am #

    In the artist’s rendering, it looks remarkably like the Tower of Babel.

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